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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, first post here. I've been lurking for a while, this board is a wealth of information, but I've finally run into a problem I can't seem to find the answer to.

Little bit of background, it's a '82 Irwin 34, so she's got some years on her, and the wiring is a mess from the PO (I just picked her up two months ago). I've noticed my reverse polarity light will flicker sometimes, be steady sometimes, and off sometimes.

In the past two weeks I've had electrical issues, first, all my power cut off one day, turns out a wire I had run for my new battery charger melted through the main ground and killed my whole breaker. A few days ago my A/C, which I installed when I got the boat, went out. Looking at it today, the same thing happened, at one of my connections the wires got hot and burned through the cap I had connecting them.

Is this due to the reverse polarity? Or something else?

Thanks in advance
 

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Reverse polarity doesn't burn wires. What is a "cap I had connecting them"? If you mean a wire nut then that's a problem. Wire nuts on boats are a fire waiting to happen. No disrespect but it sounds like you need to pay an electrician to look over your system.
 

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Reverse polarity doesn't burn wires. What is a "cap I had connecting them"? If you mean a wire nut then that's a problem. Wire nuts on boats are a fire waiting to happen. No disrespect but it sounds like you need to pay an electrician to look over your system.
This should be done ASAP. You are very lucky you still have a boat. It could very easily have been a fire. Until you do disconnect from shore power..
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, I meant a wire nut. How is using one in my boat any different than using one in my house? Don't get me wrong, I'll go and crimp all of those together, just wondering what the difference is. So that takes care of that problem, but what of the charger? That was hardwired to the breaker panel, no additional connections there
 

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Yes, I meant a wire nut. How is using one in my boat any different than using one in my house? Don't get me wrong, I'll go and crimp all of those together, just wondering what the difference is. So that takes care of that problem, but what of the charger? That was hardwired to the breaker panel, no additional connections there
Please do yourself a favor and bring in someone who understands boat electrical systems. Two melted wires spells a gross misunderstanding of correct and safe wiring on boats.
 

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Agreed..your playing with some very serious issues..not only to you as well as your boat but its effect to other vessels and people around you. Please get a competent marine electrician to look at your vessel..ASAP
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Electrical problem, possibly reverse polarity issues

So it sounds like I need to disconnect my a/c and my charger until I can just rewire the boat, I was thinking a short as well, which would be nearly impossible to track down as it stands. Oh well, guess that's getting done sooner than I had planned
 

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Wire nuts are unacceptable on boats because the environment is corrosive humidity and spray. Copper corrodes in this environment. All connections must be gas tight and wire nuts don't do that. Proper crimps are gas tight.

Finding a short is easy. The breaker will trip. You don't have a short. Most likely you have a corroded connection producing heat. An electrician will know how to find the cause.

The wiring on many boats is very bad because owners try to DIY thinking it is not worth learning or paying someone to do it correctly. As a result electrical fires on boats are high on the list of causes for loss.
 
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